Legend: Garrincha (Brazil)

As a youngster, Manuel dos Santos Francisco — Garrincha — could never have dreamed he would become one of Brazil and World Cup folklore’s most cherished footballers. Born half-crippled in 1933, an operation which enabled him to walk left the youngster with legs of uneven length, one bending outwards and the other twisting inwards.

His physical disability proved no obstacle to a career as a professional footballer, and he joi-ned Botafogo in 1953, earning his nickname ‘little bird’ after scoring a hat-trick on his debut. It was in the hurly-burly of Brazil’s national championship that Garrincha perfected a repertoire of beguiling free-kicks, becoming the scourge of goalkeepers everywhere with his bamboozling dead ball efforts.

The banana kick and the ‘falling leaf’ shot — so-called because the ball swerved twice during its flight towards goal — were to become Garrincha’s trademarks. Although Garrincha’s prowess had earned him an international debut three years earlier in 1955, it was at the 1958 World Cup where he finally cemented his place. After pleas from other members of the squad, coach Vicente Feola decided to gamble on Garrincha and it paid off, the winger linking brilliantly with a teenage Pele as Brazil clinched the title.

While 1958 will be remembered as Pele’s tournament, Garrincha got the opportunity to take centre stage when his friend and attacking partner was injured early in the 1962 finals in Chile. He scored two goals against England in the quarter-finals and added two more in the semi-finals during the 4-2 defeat of Chile.

Though sent off in the semis, he was allowed to play in the final, where Czechoslovakia spent so much time trying to quell Garrincha’s threat that they forgot about the rest of the Brazilian side, who ran out 3-1 victors.

At the 1966 WC in England, he was given a torrid time by European football’s hatchet men and he retired following the 3-1 loss to Hungary. It was the first time he had been on the losing side for his country in 60 games. Garrincha died aged 49 in 1983.